The construction of the Great Kremlin Palace coincided with
the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior under supervision of
architect Ton. Both buildings were represent revival of Russian might after
devastating war against Napoleon in 1812. One building was a symbol of
Orthodox Faith, while another represented the might of a government and
Architect Ton was a smart and a wise man. Instead of
destruction of older medieval structures he incorporated them into a new
complex of the Great Kremlin Palace. This included structures like Faceted
Palace, Golden Palace, Terem Palace, Tsarina's Chamber and the palace
The Palace was conceived as a monument to the glory of
Russian forces. It included 5 major halls that were named after highest
military signs of distinction: Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint Vladimir,
Alexander, Catherine Halls. Every hall had distinctly different interior to
fit the medal of each type.
Saint Andrew's Hall was dedicated to the Order of Saint
Andrew. This was the central throne of the Imperial Palace as well as the
main Hall of the Moscow Kremlin. Although Saint Andrew was an apostle of
Jesus Christ it was widely believed in Russia that he visited lands that
later became part of the Russian Empire. So Saint Andrew, Saint Andrew's
slanted cross became an important symbol in the Russian Empire. The last
restoration was carried out in 1994- 98.
Saint George Hall is the grand hall of the palace. It is
named in honor of Order of Saint George that was established by Russian
Empress Catherine II the Great in 1769. It was the highest sign of
distinction for soldiers and officers in a military combat. In essence it
was a Russian version of American Congressional Medal of Honor.
Vladimir Hall is named after Saint Vladimir. He was not the
first Slavic ruler who became Christian, but he was the first ruler who
turned Christianity into a state religion. It is symbolically situated in
the center of the Great Kremlin Palace. Doorways from Vladimir Hall lead to
Terem Palace, Faceted Chamber and other buildings of the palace complex.
Alexander Hall was dedicated to the Order of Saint Alexander
Nevsky. This medieval prince became famous for defeating the Northern
Crusades send by Roman Catholic Church against Russian Orthodox Christians
in order to subdue them and force into Catholic Church. Crusaders were
defeated at lake Piupius by the Russian army under leadership of Prince
Alexander who was later canonized. Russian empress Catherine I the Great
founded an honor dedicated to this famous ruler and a saint in 1725.
Alexander Hall was restored in 1994- 98.
During Soviet times the Great Kremlin Palace was one of the
major sites for speeches, rallies and other government events. Today the
Great Kremlin Palace is a grand residence of the President of the Russian
Federation. It is a place for state and diplomatic receptions and official
I don't imagine Kremlin fortress as an
impregnable fortress that once offered safe haven from an
enemy, but a place of virtues, education and national glory.
Since we are talking about the Great Kremlin
Palace of Moscow we probably should mention that this is not
the only project that could have been created on this site.
During rule of Catherine II in the late 18th century a more
ambiguous plan for a magnificent palace on this location was
imagined. It was supposed to be constructed under
supervision of the most famous architect of the time Vasily
Bazhenov. Construction of a new Grand Kremlin Palace began,
but it was never completed. That was probably for the good
of Moscow Kremlin.